- 44 IN IT FOR KEEPS
The man behind Cash Money, Lil Wayne and, subsequently, Young Money has spent the last 22 years pushing himself to the top, with huge success. With the industry drying up, could BABY possibly be the last hip-hop mogul standing?
- 52 NONE OF DEM
Where have rap’s most famous moguls gone? XXL delves deep, trying to find out when they all jumped ship.
- 54 REAL LIFE FANTASY
There’s a new supergroup in hip-hop, and they are all the buzz. Meet the members of ODD FUTURE rap’s 2011 version of the Wu-Tang Clan.
- 60 I AM I BE
A proven superproducer plus rapper, and also a budding painter, SWIZZ BEATZ has leveraged his artistry into projects bigger than hip-hop. Most recently, he’s collaborated with apparel giant Reebok and the estate of the legendary Jean-Michel Basquiat.
- 62 GONE TOO LONG
Once a hip-hop sensation with a melodic flow, JA RULE has fallen onto tough times – hard. He’s slated to serve a two-year prison sentence on a gun-possession plea. Still, the Queens MC is releasing a new album.
- 68 THE VENT
Six months ago, former Bad Boy rapper G.Dep walked into a police station and confessed to a shooting from 17 years ago. The Harlemite tells his story to XXL exclusively from Rikers Island.
- 72 WORDS I NEVER SAIDHe’s been locked up, but he’s ready to get out. Two years into a 75-year sentence, Harlem’s Max B has stayed busy, including releasing a new album. After recently filing for an appeal, the Uptown rhyme slinger wants to get justice and, hopefully, come home.
- 76 BLOOD SWEAT ‘N’ GEARS
A major underground artist out of Kansas City for years, Tech N9ne is ready to cross over, and it seems he mainstream may finally be embracing him. Can his next project solidify the rhyme monster’s position in rap?
- 25 360
A Tribe Called Quest documentary, Toya Carter dishes on her Family Affair, and hip-hop’s “Mad Violinist” strings us along.
- 34 Soul Search
Melanie Fiona talks her new album, The MF Life
- 37 Show & Prove
XV, Kirko Bangz, Action Bronson, Macklemore
- 82 Eye Candy
Two for the price of one this month with Laeann Amos and Eslease Donovan.
- 86 The Good Life
Outasight and Theophilus London split the spotlight in this month’s summer fashion.
- 95 X-Rated
The review section…relaunched and jam-packed. Check out XXLMag.com for more.
- 10 Editorial
VS sets ’em straight.
- 18 Letters
It’s all about the Freshmen!
- 106 Doin’ Lines
Jadakiss does some